Emblematic fauna

Emblematic Fauna

BIRDWATCHING IN QUITO AND ITS SURROUNDINGS

Considering the metropolitan limits of the city, Quito is one of the most mega diverse cities on the planet, in terms of birds.

Ecuador has the highest density of bird species in the world, with more than 1670. In Quito you will find birds of all shapes and colors and that magic depends on where you are: there are high mountain habitats, dry Andean forests, humid forests, paramo, rivers, ravines, grasslands, waterfalls, and everything within a few kilometers of distance.

One of the unique species is the Andean Cock of the Rock (a bird that does a unique courtship dance). Visit the Paz de las Aves Refuge, where you can see hummingbirds of all colors, toucans, parrots and quetzals. There are also birdwatching tours in the northwest. In this area, you can admire the imposing Andean Condor.

 

Every year, thousands of bird lovers come to our country. Birdwatching has turned Quito into one of the most important bird destinations in the world.

URBAN BIRDS

To watch urban birds, Quito is an exceptional destination. We recommend these places:
  • Quito Botanical Garden: A place to discover migratory birds, in La Carolina Park (next to Mundo Juvenil)
  • Guangüiltagua Metropolitan Park: Look for the beautiful crimson Woodpecker (entrance on Guanguiltagua street).
  • Itchimbia Park: The trails along the eastern side of the park are good for bird watching.

SPECTACLED BEAR

The Spectacled Bear is an endangered species native to the Ecuadorian Andes. The main goal of the northwestern communities of Quito is to protect and defend their habitat.

The spectacled bear lives in the cloud forests around Quito. It is a conservation flagship for the city. There are several projects whose objective is to protect their habitat and better understand their population and movement. Among the projects there is The Spectacled Bear Eco-corridor, which links the communities of Yunguilla, Santa Lucía, El Pahuma and Maquipicuna, to create a conservation area for the ecosystem of this emblematic bear, which also protects one of the most important areas of biodiversity in the world, the well-known Chocó bioregion. Efforts on ecological and environmental issues in the neighboring area of Nanegal, have originated the Maquipucuna Reserve, a pioneer in this matter, since 1980, which works to conserve a corridor with three large areas of extensive jungle.

ANDEAN CONDOR

The Andean Condor, also known as Kuntur in Quechua, is an emblematic animal of Ecuador (found in its National Emblem) and especially in the Ecuadorian Andes. This impressive bird is the largest flying animal on the planet, whose outstretched wings are approximately 3 meters long and have a total weight of up to 12 kilos. You can find it gliding in the blue sky of our city, although they are known to be shy and hard to find birds.

This robust animal with black plumage stands out for its size but also for the white feather necklace that decorates the base of its neck and the white spot on the upper part of its body and in the middle of its wings. Its head and neck are featherless and its red beak is strong and hook-shaped.

The Andean Condor, the king of our skies, has a life of up to 75 years, making it one of the longest-lived birds in the animal kingdom, whose majesty decorates mountains and cliffs around Quito, amidst a beautiful and abundant flora and fauna.

They hide their nests in inaccessible places to protect their young, inside tall caves and vertical rocky walls that cover them from the wind. They have only one chick every two years (which is why they are so rare), and the parents share the responsibility of caring for the offspring.

While living in small clusters, these beautiful birds very much enjoy gliding solo through the valleys, enjoying the warm air currents and winds that rise in the mountains, to glide for hours with little effort. The friction of its enormous wings with the wind produces a whistle that can be clearly heard if one is fairly close. The preferred places for condors to rest are those that receive the warm rays of the sun early in the morning.

SHORT PLANNER

If you have a morning:

  • YANACOCHA: One of the great natural experiences of the immediate area of Quito in a montane rain forest, one hour from the city.
  • PULULAHUA: Housed in an ancient crater (when you're done hunting for birds, feel the unique effect of being inside a volcanic crater!)
  • JERUSALEM: A unique carob tree forest with unique species, just 30 minutes from the city.

If you have a day:

  • ANTISANA: One-hour distance from Quito. The magic of the paramo at the foot of a spectacular snow-capped mountain, home to the Andean Condor and many other unique birds of this ecosystem. Return to Quito before 3 pm.
  • ECO-ROUTE: Look for birds along this ancient route to the coast through the lush slopes of the Pichincha, towards sumptuous cloud forests and quickly return along the main road.
  • PAPALLACTA: One hour east of Quito, you can find both paramo and then amazon birds in some beautiful places, such as Guango Lodge. Around this area there is a SPA with hot thermal pools.

If you have 2 to 3 days:

  • Spectacular birding adventures await you, with a record number of bird species, great places to stay in the forest, jungle and very close to town.
  • +593 2993300
  • mercadeo@quito-turismo.gob.ec
  • Passage Oe3 Río Amazonas N51-20 & Street N50B
    Old airport, Quito

© All rights reserved

Quito Turismo - Visit Quito

  • +593 2993300
  • mercadeo@quito-turismo.gob.ec
  • Passage Oe3 Río Amazonas N51-20 & Street N50B
    Old airport, Quito

© All rights reserved

Quito Turismo - Visit Quito